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ERIC Number: EJ763361
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007
Pages: 3
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-1539-9664
Charters as a Solution?: So Far, States and Districts Have Opted for Anything But
Smith, Nelson
Education Next, v7 n1 p57-59 Win 2007
"Reopening the school as a public charter school" is Option #1 on the list of NCLB's restructuring alternatives for failing schools. But this has not proved a popular choice. NCLB made the bold assumption that states and districts would voluntarily turn over the reins to charter operators. The authors of the legislation must have thought, with so many sticks beating on the backs of schools (test-disaster headlines, parents leaving in droves), the carrot of fundamental change would be irresistible. And it might have been--if it weren't for Option #5, which says you can also try "Any other major restructuring of the school's governance arrangement that makes fundamental reforms." According to two recent reports by the U.S. Department of Education, the early returns on NCLB restructuring are none too promising. But whether federally urged or not, whether formally embraced by district and state officials or not, fundamental change is coming to underperforming schools and systems. As long as charter schools aren't kept from opening or expanding because of arbitrary state caps, parents will continue flocking to them. The charter market share in big cities will continue growing. NCLB gives traditional systems a way to jump-start reform by capitalizing on this powerful trend. If they ignore the opportunity but continue to lose customers, they invite a far less orderly kind of restructuring.
Hoover Institution. Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305-6010. Tel: 800-935-2882; Fax: 650-723-8626; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: No Child Left Behind Act 2001
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Rorschach Test